Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Get Real - Learning at Home

(All of the above were a result of self-directed activities, not assignments.)

A blogging friend, Adrie, and I happened to both be wondering how the other "did it all".  This conversation led to this six-week series, "Get Real".   Seven women (all of us mothers) from different parts of the United States with different views and beliefs, but with so much more in common, are sharing our voices each week.  This week we share about work and creativity.

We have learned at home together now for over 19 years - since the day our oldest was born:)

Our learning has looked differently throughout the years, but one underlying belief remains - that children don't actually learn unless they are interested, engaged, and preferably intrinsically motivated. 

Do I always follow my unschooling instincts?  No --- far too often I let fear creep in.  You would think after doing this for so long I would be confident that children learn what they need to when they need to.  (I really do believe this!)     I worry that they won't develop self-discipline if I don't set daily expectations, or if they choose to go to college I need to at least present them with the basics.  I worry that if I don't meet the state's expectations, we will get into trouble.

So, I compromise my beliefs.  We have an abbreviated more formal home learning that can be completed in a short amount of time and then the rest of the day is filled with self-directed, interest-led learning, fun, play, etc. and some around the home expectations such as gather firewood and a couple of chores.

I desire each of our children to develop a love of learning,  a passion for utilizing the gifts God has given them.   For the most part I can see this happening but then there are days where I will hear, "I hate school work," and I just want to throw that part of our day out the window because deep down I know that isn't how it should be because learning should never be misery.

One of my favorite home learning inspirations is Renee at Fimby.  

Joining in today with ~


  1. THANK YOU for sharing...it spoke to my heart! :)

  2. Beautifully put Tonya. So happy to read about your family's journey.

  3. Beautifully put Tonya. Thank you for sharing your family's journey with us.

  4. Thank you for sharing about your homeschooling and challenges to do it as well...

    Our daughters both went to public school until God laid it on our hearts to homeschool ..there wasn't any one reason to pull them out but...many reasons to home school them it has been such a blessing to them and our family.

    We have used Abeka the whole time which is very expensive but Biblical which we really wanted and wanted to focus on.

    We are a VERY relaxed homeschool family probably too relaxed in some areas but it is what we feel is best for us.

    Our oldest daughter would do her school work and then would spend sometime on her blog now her web-site. I think at a young age you can see where their talent is... what would they rather be doing instead of school:) :) Our youngest daughter is in the 10th grade an now has an Etsy shop that she works on after school. She is hoping that she will be working on it full time after graduation. **I always stress the future what they do now to learn will help in the years to come..**

    Goodness... I might have written too much..I probably should write a post about our homeschool journey:)

    Tonya as always you and your family have always been an inspiration to us..

    Many Blessings,


  5. Tonya, thank you for this kind mention of my blog. I think you have a beautiful homeschooling life (smile).

  6. Dear Tonya, I love this! I also will often have doubts at times, despite my beliefs in unschooling. I too fall into worrying that they are doing enough, losing trust. When I sit back and really look I find that not only are they, but beyond. For me, having spent so many years in school, I have worked on "de-schooling" myself over the years!

  7. What a beautiful note to the tension between what you often experience in schooling an loving your children. Thank you.

  8. What a wonderful post Tonya, thanks for sharing your reality and your wishes!
    With love,

  9. I know I must have already known this, but I am learning just how similar we/the way our family life is to each other. I'm enjoying reading and learning a bit more about you and your family, Tonya. I agree with every thing you wrote today!

    Love, Lisa

  10. Thank you for sharing this. We live a unschooled life also, and my children never fail to amaze me with their hunger for information that we may never have "covered" if we were taking a more traditional school path.